Amazing Alocasias: How to Plant and Care for Elephant Ears

Alocasia, also known as elephant’s ear, is prized for its stunning broad-leaved foliage that makes a statement in the garden. These plants are native to tropical climates, making them perfect for growing in southern Florida. Let’s cover everything you need to know about planting and caring for alocasia outdoors in Fort Lauderdale. 

Living color garden center-Fort Lauderdale-How to Grow Alocasia Outdoors -alocasia growing in soil

How Do You Plant Alocasia?

  • Select a partially shaded area of your backyard. 
  • Plant your Alocasia bulb with the narrow end pointed up and the roots pointing down. 
  • The larger bulbs should be planted about 8 inches deep, while the smaller bulbs should be buried 4 to 6 inches into the ground.
  • After planting in the ground, water your alocasia plant well to settle the soil around the bulb.
  • Choose a container at least 18″ deep with adequate drainage holes if you’re growing alocasia in containers.

How to Care for Alocasia as It Grows 

Alocasia foliage will add a little extra effort to your gardening routine, but it is well worth it! You’ll be able to grow a beautiful alocasia plant in your Fort Lauderdale backyard as long as you provide it with the proper light, soil, and water.

Be sure to avoid placing your plant in areas where it will receive direct light for too long

Alocasia Sun Requirements 

Alocasias prefer bright, indirect, or filtered sunlight because their natural habitat is under tree canopies. Despite their love of light, alocasia leaves will burn if they are exposed to direct sunlight for too long. Be sure to avoid placing your plant in areas where it will receive direct light during the peak hours of the day. The mature height of these giants and their tendency to shade out smaller plants should be considered when choosing companion plants.

Alocasia Water Requirements

Your alocasia plant will thrive in fertile, well-drained soil that receives consistent moisture throughout the growing season. As the plant matures, only water the soil when it is about 25-50% dry. You must avoid overwatering an alocasia plant because it is susceptible to root rot if it receives too much! If planting in containers, choose a container with proper drainage holes to release excess moisture as needed. 


Alocasia Soil Requirements 

Your alocasia soil should be porous, well-aerated, well-drained, and moist! While they love good moist soil, alocasia roots will drown if the soil is heavy and waterlogged. It’s ideal to have the following ingredients in an ‘alocasia soil’ mix:

  • Equal parts of houseplant soil
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite

These potting mix ingredients hold the perfect amount of moisture for your alocasia plant while allowing proper drainage. 

Living color garden center-Fort Lauderdale-How to Grow Alocasia Outdoors -green alocasia foliage

Alocasia Fertilizer Requirements 

Alocasias are hungry plants! For exceptional growth each season, provide your alocasia plant with a half-strength fertilizer every three weeks during its growing period. A water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer mix should do the trick. You can also use all-purpose products like Miracle Grow to nourish these tropical beauties. 

Additional Alocasia Must-Knows 

  • An alocasia plant’s growth will be directly impacted by how much light it receives. Expect top growth to emerge in 3 to 8 weeks with optimal light and water requirements.  
  • If planting alocasia in containers, fill them up with gravel, stone, or other weighted matter to avoid them from tipping over in the wind!
  • Mulch, mulch, mulch! A two-inch layer will aid in moisture retention for your alocasia’s soil and provide it with proper drainage.
  • Do not trim your alocasia foliage off at the end of the season. These tropical plants use their leaves to gather nutrients through photosynthesis. 

Visit us at Living Color Garden Center to explore the alocasia varieties growing in-store, along with our vibrant selection of plants to grow alongside it! 

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